Monday, September 25, 2017

Quicksilver GT, N5112S: Fatal accident occurred September 25, 2017 near Blackwood Airpark (TX46), Cleburne, Johnson County, Texas

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Jade Cory Rogers:  http://registry.faa.gov/N5112S

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA368
14 CFR Part 103: Ultralight
Accident occurred Monday, September 25, 2017 in Cleburne, TX
Aircraft: Eris E. Ervin Quicksilver, registration: N5112S
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 25, 2017, about 1730 central daylight time, a Quicksilver GT 400S ultralight aircraft, N5112S, impacted terrain in Cleburne, Texas. The uncertificated pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The aircraft was destroyed. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 103 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the accident site. The local flight originated from Blackwood Airport (TX46), Cleburne, Texas, about 1725.

Preliminary information indicates the aircraft took off on runway 17 from TX46. During the initial climb out, the engine lost power. The pilot turned in an attempt to return to the airport. Control was lost and the aircraft impacted terrain behind an apartment complex.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov




A 40-year-old Meridian man was killed in an light aircraft crash in Cleburne Monday evening, authorities said.

Jade Rogers was killed when his Quicksilver GT-400 crashed into a fence at an apartment complex at 3224 Celeste Road in Cleburne about 5:30 p.m., according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s website.

The Blackwood Airpark is nearby on North Main Street.

Rogers was the only person aboard the light sport craft.

The Federal Aviation Authority and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

No other details were available Tuesday.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.star-telegram.com




One person has died after a crash a involving an aircraft Monday evening in Cleburne, law enforcement officials said. 

The pilot was the only person aboard the plane, a light sport Quicksilver GT single-engine aircraft, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said.  

It occurred shortly before 5:30 p.m. in the 3200 block of Celeste Drive, near an airpark in the north part of the city, he said. 

It's unclear if there are any other injuries. 

The FAA is investigating the crash. 

The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified. 

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.dallasnews.com





A single-engine light sport category Quicksilver GT aircraft with one person aboard crashed into an apartment complex Monday night. 

Cleburne Police and Fire are on scene now working with CareFlight ground EMS.

The crash site is in the vicinity of the Blackwood Air Park.

The FAA will be investigating the crash. 

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.wfaa.com

Jade Rogers
Date of Birth: 8/3/1977, Age 40
Date of Death:  9/25/2017
White M
Police Department:Cleburne Police Department
Police Svc #: 17002232

Deceased Address: 307 S. Broadway, Meridian, Texas 76665

Time Of Death 5:38 PM

Occurred Location: 3224 Celeste Rd., Cleburne, Texas 76033

Place Of Death: Yard/fence of apartment complex

Prosector: Marc Krouse, M.D.

Place Of Death Address: 3224 Celeste Rd., Cleburne, Texas

Manner Of Death: ACCIDENT

Cause Of Death: MASSIVE BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA OF HEAD Due to ULTRALIGHT AIRCRAFT CRASH (PILOT)

https://mepublic.tarrantcounty.com

MD Helicopters MD530F (369F), N5189K, operated by the Gwinnett County Police Department: Accident occurred September 01, 2017 at Gwinnett County Airport (KLZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

County of Gwinnett Georgia: http://registry.faa.gov/N5189K

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA305
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Friday, September 01, 2017 in Lawrenceville, GA
Aircraft: MD HELICOPTER 369, registration: N5189K
Injuries: 2 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 1, 2017, at 1058 eastern daylight time, a MD Helicopters 369FF, N5189K, was substantially damaged while on approach to following an inflight loss of helicopter control at Gwinnett County Airport (LZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia. The commercial pilot and a pilot-rated crewmember were seriously injured. The helicopter was operated by the Gwinnett County Police Department as a local public flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at LZU about 1000.

The pilot reported the following that. T the preflight inspection of the helicopter and en route portions of the flight were uneventful. After about 1one hour on station performing law enforcement duties, the pilot returned to LZU due to approaching weather conditions. While approaching the landing zone, the pilot noted a "strong wind gust" followed by a "sudden, uncommanded, violent, right yaw" and "what seemed to be an uncommanded climb." He applied cyclic and pedal inputs; however, the helicopter continued in a right spin for at least two full rotations until it impacted the ground. The pilots were met by first responders and transported to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. He reported that the helicopter came to rest on its right side in the grass, adjacent to a taxiway. There was no fire. Structural damage to the fuselage, tail rotor, and main rotor were confirmed.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.







GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The Gwinnett County Police Department says one of their corporals is now paralyzed following a helicopter crash in September.

The chopper crash happened at Briscoe Field on Sept. 1, when the chopper, carrying Officer George McLain, 38, and Corporal Michael Duncan, 46, went down. Both were taken to the hospital.

McLain, the pilot, was released from the hospital several days after the crash, but Duncan was transferred to Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta. He is currently paralyzed from the waist down. 

Gwinnett County officials say Duncan is still having pain but is improving each day. He is working hard with the staff at Shepherd to get back to being as independent as possible.

"We are very hopeful that he will recover and at some point he will return for duty," said Raymer Sale with the Gwinnett Police Foundation. "When police officers get hurt, then the mission changes."

The Gwinnett County Police Foundation will host a golf tournament on Oct. 2 at Chateau Elan.  The proceeds from the tournament will be donated to Duncan. 

It is anticipated that his home will need to be modified to accommodate wheelchair access. His family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money.

"People are really thinking about you. We know you are human beings and we appreciate all you do for us," Sale said. 

Story and video ➤ http://www.wsbtv.com

Georgia Northwestern Technical College offering drone classes for law enforcement students



From tracking weather to handling traffic situations, drones are allowing authorities to have eyes on areas they would not usually be able to access easily.

Because of this Georgia Northwestern Technical College has purchased two new DJI-series Phantom drones and is training law enforcement students to use them in the field.

GNTC Criminal Justice Technology Director Tony Adams, who has over 13 years field experience with Georgia’s State Board of Pardons and Paroles, said these unmanned and compact remote-controlled vehicles are helping change the way many departments are getting their jobs done.

“As more and more departments deploy drones they continue to prove their value,” added Adams. “They provide incredible situational awareness to emergency services teams. Police officers, fire fighters, and SWAT teams across the country use drones for search and rescue, crime scene investigation, accident investigation, criminal pursuit, forest fire tracking, and damage assessment. Drones are not just toys or flying cameras.”

Students enrolled in Adams’ program on the college’s Walker County Campus will soon get the chance to have hands-on experience at flying and operating the Criminal Justice Technology program drones.

“Everyone is really excited about it in the classroom,” said Adams. “We’ve been troubleshooting problems on the setup of the drones and we are ready to get them in the air for flight and study.”

Original article  ➤ http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com

Shreveport Regional Airport (KSHV), Louisiana: Trail of blood leads to burglary arrest

SHREVEPORT, La. - A trail of blood led to the arrest of a Bossier City man who allegedly burglarized an airport hangar early this morning.  

Johnathan Feaster, 33, was treated for his injuries and then taken into custody by Shreveport Police.

Just after 12:30 a.m. today, Shreveport Police patrol officers responded to a call that reporting that a man was believed to have been shot near the intersection of Hollywood and Bethune Avenues.

When the officers and Shreveport Fire Department medics arrived, they learned that Feaster, of the 4800 block of Shed Road, was suffering from lacerations, not gunshot injuries.

The officers then followed a blood trail from Feaster back to a Tac Air Hangar at 4891 Perimeter Road at the Shreveport Regional Airport.

There, they located a vehicle with its window knocked out and observed that the front glass of the business had been shattered.

Evidence left at the scene led officers to believe that the suspect entered into the business office and caused an estimated $15,000 in damages.

Investigators with Shreveport Police Department’s Property Crimes Division and Crime Scene Investigations Unit responded to the scene, processed the trail of evidence, and after being treated, Feaster was booked into the Shreveport City Jail on one count of Simple Burglary. 

Original article  ➤ http://www.arklatexhomepage.com

Mosquito XE 285, N926KB: Accident occurred September 25, 2017 in Odessa, Hillsborough County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

Rotorcraft crashed onto the roof of a house under unknown circumstances.

http://registry.faa.gov/N926KB

Date: 25-SEP-17
Time: 21:40:00Z
Regis#: N926KB
Aircraft Make: MOSQUITO
Aircraft Model: XE285
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: SERIOUS
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: ODESSA
State: FLORIDA


ODESSA --  A small, experimental helicopter crash Monday in Odessa remains under investigation. 

Local and federal aviation officials will try to determine what caused the helicopter to crash into the roof of a home in northwest Hillsborough County Monday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. 

The pilot of the helicopter, 51-year-old Bradley John Bates, called 911 after the crash. He was rushed to an area hospital as a trauma alert but in unknown condition, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

The small aircraft struck the back side of the home's roof, causing some chaos in the neighborhood. 

"You could see the tail rotar hanging over the house - and then smoke coming up," said one of the neighborhood residents. 

Other residents said they heard the sputtering of an engine and then a loud crash. 

No one was in the home at the time of the crash except the family dog, which was not injured. 

"The helicopter is laying on its side and one of the sides of the cockpit is broken open - so what our technical rescue crews did was actually got on to the roof with backboards, special equipment, make sure it was stabilized and then removed that pilot as safely as they can just like we would during a traffic accident," said Corey Dierdorf with Hillsborough Co. Rescue Fire. 

The family that lives at the home will not be able to stay at the home while clean up takes place. Fuel may have leaked into the home and the roof will have to be fixed. 

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration also will be investigating the crash. 


http://www.baynews9.com



ODESSA, Fla. -- A pilot is in stable condition after his helicopter crashed into a home Monday afternoon.

The home-made helicopter crashed through the roof of 9450 Roberts Rd. at about 5:30 p.m., the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said. The home is located near Lake Gibson., west of Gunn Highway and north of North Mobley Road.

The pilot, Bradley John Bates, 51, of Lake Grove Drive in Odessa, was the only person in the helicopter. No one was home at the time of the crash.

Bates was conscious and alert following the crash, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said.

"At this time, county fire has cut power to the residence, and code enforcement will determine the damage to the structure," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "The helicopter will remain in place until such time as NTSB makes the decision to remove it and NTSB and FAA conduct their investigation."

The crash happened just over two miles from Bates' home.

Story and video ➤  http://www.wtsp.com



ODESSA — A small manned helicopter crashed into the roof of a house in northwest Hillsborough County on Monday, injuring a pilot, officials said.

The crash happened about 5:30 p.m. at 9450 Roberts Road.

The pilot, Bradley John Bates, 51, of 10207 Lake Grove Drive, called 911 after the crash, Hillsborough Fire Rescue officials said. He was the only person onboard.

"The pilot was then brought out of the aircraft, put on a backboard and taken to a local area hospital as a trauma alert," said Hillsborough Fire Rescue spokesman Corey Dierdorff. "There was significant damage done to the roof of this home. Thankfully no one was home."

Bates had injuries that authorities described as life threatening. He was taken to the emergency room at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.

No one was in the house at the time of the crash. A dog inside, Nala, was uninjured.

Photos from the scene depict the small rotorcraft, its windows cracked, resting on its side in the middle of a depression in the roof. Fire Rescue officials said the helicopter bore the word "Experimental" on the side. It was unclear exactly what type of rotorcraft it was.

Fire Rescue officials said they had contacted the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the crash.

The house sits a few yards behind another home off the rural street near Keystone Lake in northwest Hillsborough.

Tim Peterson, who lives in the adjacent house, said he and his wife, Laurie, were in their kitchen about to eat dinner when they heard a whirring noise.

"I heard a propeller sound and then a sudden boom," Peterson said. "I looked at my wife and said, 'Honey, what was that?'"

Through a window, Peterson could see a helicopter blade hanging off the roof of the neighboring house. He called 911.

Another neighbor, a nurse who happened to be walking a dog at the time, managed to scale the house and tend to the man, Peterson said. From the ground, he could hear him moaning.

Peterson didn't recognize the man. But he said it isn't unusual for people to fly small helicopters and other aircraft in the area.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.tampabay.com



ODESSA (FOX 13) - A small helicopter crash-landed on the roof of an Odessa home Monday afternoon, leaving the injured pilot to pull himself from the wreckage.

The scene is along Roberts Road, which is just north of Lake Rogers Park.  A witness told FOX 13 that the helicopter appears to be a kit-built craft and may have suffered engine failure, causing the rough landing.

The pilot is alert but injured. He was the only one aboard. 
  
Deputies say a dog was the only occupant of the house at the time of the crash. The animal was not hurt.

Crews remain on the scene.

Story and video ➤  http://www.fox13news.com

ODESSA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies are on scene of a helicopter crash Monday afternoon.

The helicopter crashed into a roof of a home located at 9450 Roberts Road, where it remains.

One person was injured and was taken to the hospital as a trauma alert.

There was no one inside the home, besides a dog who was uninjured.

Story and video ➤ http://wfla.com

No more flying with reindeer: Unique Alaska planes to retire

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Claire Richardson remembers taking off in an airplane uniquely configured for Alaska when a horrible smell seeped into the passenger area.

The captain soon came on the speaker to apologize for the odor, which was coming from 70 skittish baby reindeer headed for Texas.

"Guess they all pooped as we lifted off from the runway," said Richardson, a Jesuit volunteer at a Nome radio station during the 1980s flight who is now chief of staff for Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.

Those days will be coming to a close as the special plane that hauls people, goods and even animals on the same flight is taken out of service in a state with few roads.

Alaska Airlines is retiring its last four combi planes, special Boeing 737-400s designed to carry cargo in the middle of the plane and 72 passengers in the rear, company vice president Marilyn Romano told The Associated Press ahead of this week's unveiling of the first of three new cargo planes for the state.

"They've been our workhorses," said Jason Berry, manager of the company's cargo division.

The new cargo planes are a dedicated fleet of three 737-700s, and they are the first ever to be converted from passenger jet to cargo planes. Passengers will now fly separately in 737-700s.

Alaska Airlines is the only major airline in the U.S. that had combi planes, which were designed for the special challenges of the nation's largest state.

A postage stamp placed in the middle of an average sheet of paper represents the area a person can reach in Alaska by coast line, river, road or railroad.

"If you want to see or do business in any of the rest of that sheet of paper, you only have two choices: You can fly an hour or walk a week," said Mark Ransom with the Alaska Aviation Museum in Anchorage.

The combi planes made sense to deliver people and goods to remote hub communities in Alaska in the most cost-efficient manner.

The planes can carry up to four large cargo containers — weighing anywhere from 12,000 to 14,000 pounds — in the middle of the plane. Passengers fill the rear of the plane, and they get on board by using stairs like the pre-jetway days.

"It's bittersweet," Romano said of the planes' retirement, especially for those who understand what they have meant to the people of Alaska.

The planes usually fly to communities like Nome on the Bering Sea coast, Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow) on the northern Arctic Ocean coast or Deadhorse, the supply town for the Prudhoe Bay oil fields, where there might not be enough cargo for a full planeload or enough passengers to fill a jet.

From those locations, smaller airplanes usually deliver the cargo and passengers to dozens of nearby villages.

The combi planes also make famous milk runs through southeast Alaska, leaving Anchorage and stopping about every 45 minutes to deliver goods — including milk — to little communities before heading on to Seattle, where the airline is headquartered.

It's not just milk that gets delivered. In other parts of the United States, cargo planes deliver durable goods to businesses to make commerce run, said Berry, the cargo division manager.

"In Alaska, we are carrying their milk, the groceries, the fruit, the vegetables, the pharmaceuticals, the drugs, for these people, for these communities," he said.

And animals.

"Because of where we are and where we live, we have the opportunity to help move a lot of unique things, and a lot of them are living," said Romano, the airline vice president.

That could include shipping an injured eagle to the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka for rehabilitation or giving a lift back to Anchorage for scores of exhausted sled dogs that had just finished the nearly 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome.

The last combi flight is scheduled for Oct. 18, which is also the Alaska Day state holiday. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the formal transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States. The final flight will deliver the combi plane to Seattle from Juneau.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://m.startribune.com

Fairfax Attorney charged with embezzling $653,000 in campaign funds from Virginia Senator Richard Saslaw

A Fairfax attorney has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged role in three fraud schemes totaling over $1.4 million in losses, including embezzling over $653,000 from Virginia State Senator Richard Saslaw’s campaign fund.

According to the indictment that was unsealed Sept. 25 at his initial appearance in federal court, David H. Miller, 68, of Fairfax, allegedly participated in three fraud schemes from 2011 through 2014.

In the first alleged scheme, Miller, an attorney, along with his wife, Linda Wallis, reportedly created two fake law firms, the first known as Federal Legal Associates, and the second known as The Straile Group. Miller and Wallis allegedly used the two fake law firms to fraudulently bill Miller’s employer, SkyLink Air and Logistic Support, Inc. (SkyLink), a Canadian based aviation company that maintained an office in Dulles. Miller and Wallis allegedly caused approximately $368,400 in losses to SkyLink.

The second scheme alleged in the indictment details the embezzlement of approximately $653,000 from the campaign account of Senator Saslaw. From June 2013 to September 2014, Wallis served as the treasurer of the Saslaw for State Senate campaign. During that time, Wallis allegedly issued approximately 73 fraudulent checks from the Saslaw for State Senate campaign bank account, which totaled approximately $653,000. According to the indictment, all of the checks were issued without the knowledge or permission of Senator Saslaw or his campaign staff, and were ultimately deposited into accounts that were allegedly controlled by Miller or Wallis. Miller and Wallis allegedly used the funds embezzled from Senator Saslaw’s campaign account for personal expenses, including to pay their home mortgage and to retain a personal lawyer, according to court records.

The third alleged scheme detailed in the indictment alleges misuse of funds from a charitable organization, which Miller co-founded and for which Wallis served as the Executive Director. The organization, known as The Community College Consortium on Autism and Intellectual Disabilities (CCCAID), claimed to provide assistance to community colleges to develop programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Between April 2010 and April 2013, community colleges located around the country and one individual donated approximately $783,000 to CCCAID. The funds contributed to CCCAID were supposed to be used to further the mission of the organization and not to enrich Miller or Wallis. Despite these restrictions, from April 2010 to August 2014, Wallis authorized approximately $482,000 in transfers from CCCAID’s account to other bank accounts allegedly controlled by Miller and Wallis. A significant percentage of the $482,000 allegedly embezzled from CCCAID was used to pay Miller and Wallis’s personal expenses, such as mortgage payments, upgrades to an oceanfront property owned by Miller in Bethany Beach, Del., and travel on private aircraft from Manassas to Montego Bay, Jamaica for a family vacation.

Miller’s alleged co-conspirator and wife, Linda Diane Wallis, previously pleaded guilty. Linda Diane Wallis was sentenced to 56 months in prison on March 18, 2016.

Miller has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, mail fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.fairfaxtimes.com

Chester County, Pennsylvania: Sen. Andy Dinniman to recognize history of Main Line Airport

With the Flight Operations Center of the Main Line Airport in the background, six volunteer pilots and mechanics of the Airport’s Civil Air Patrol squadron stand ready to do their duty during the tense summer of 1942. The Paoli squadron provided flight crews like these to Coastal Patrol squadrons as far away as Virginia as the CAP patrolled the Atlantic coast searching for marauding German U-boats. The squadron’s Deputy Commander, Maj. Harvey “Buck” Berry, stands on the right.


http://www.airfields-freeman.com



State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, will honor Chester County’s rich history of aviation and aeronautical achievement with the dedication of a historical marker recognizing the Main Line Airport on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.

The Main Line Airport, also known as the Paoli Airport, stood for more than a half-century at the current site of the Great Valley Corporate Center in Malvern. As one of Pennsylvania’s earliest country airfields, it served aviation from the 1920s into the 1970s and was home to major research breakthroughs that would be later incorporated into the world’s first successful helicopter.

“The Main Line Airport is one of our region’s unsung heroes, but the courage, innovation, and contributions of its pilots, aviators, and engineers were by no means insignificant,” Dinniman said. “The airport provided training for countless pilots during both peace and wartime, including a Civil Air Patrol squadron in the uncertain early months of World War II. Later, it supported pioneering research developments that led to the birth of the helicopter as we know it today.”

Dinniman will be joined by officials from the Tredyffrin-Easttown Historical Society, East Whiteland Township, Chester County, the American Helicopter Museum, and Ricoh Americas in dedicating the marker. The event, located at 70 Valley Stream Parkway in the Great Valley Corporate Center, is free and open to the public. It will include some of the sons and daughters of the Main Line Airport’s original owners and pilots. In addition, weather permitting, the dedication will feature a classic aircraft flyover of several vintage aircraft from the period that the Main Line Airport was in operation.

The event will close with a small reception and light refreshments at the adjacent headquarters of Ricoh. Many historic photographs will be on display there, and aviators who actually flew out of the Main Line Airport and its subsequent heliport will be in attendance and available for comment.

“The story of the Main Line Airport is one of pioneers, entrepreneurs, and innovators who, inspired by the American Dream and the call of duty and service to their country, took bold risks in challenging what was thought possible and succeeded in changing the future of aviation for the better,” Dinniman said. “I would be remiss not to recognize Roger Thorne for his vast contributions to preserving the history of the airport through his leadership and hard work within the Tredyffrin-Easttown Historical Society, as well thanking the generous patrons and donors who helped make it possible.”

The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Ricoh lot and other locations as directed.

Story and photos ➤ http://www.dailylocal.com

Spotlight probe: Post-9/11, Federal Aviation Administration continues lax oversight of airplane registration, licenses

A web of secrecy at the Federal Aviation Administration could make it nearly impossible to identify a plane's real owner. For a new report, the Boston Globe's Spotlight team spent a year investigating a system the newspaper says can be exploited by drug dealers or corrupt international politicians. 

What they found raises real questions about how the FAA handles information regarding airplanes and the people flying them.

Their story, "Secrets in the Sky," published today by the Boston Globe, even notes people with links to terrorism who appeared to hold active FAA licenses to fly or repair planes.

One in six private aircraft in the United States (or 54,232 out of 314,529) are registered through means which, though legal, make it very hard -- even for law enforcement -- to determine who owns an airplane. 

It's a system that's appealing to bad actors, like the drug runners flying an American-registered plane shot down by the Venezuelan air force.

"People can use layers of secrecy to register their aircraft," said Boston Globe reporter Jaimi Dowdell. "And those layers of secrecy are really attractive to drug dealers, criminals, corrupt politicians, and people with potential ties to terrorism.

"It helps them hide, conceal their activities, and when they register their airplane with the U.S. flag, it's like getting the U.S. stamp of approval."

Dowdell and Kelly Carr reported the story. They told CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave they found an antiquated system less secure than getting your driver's' license.

"You have to have a bill of sale, and the bill of sale simply says, 'Kelly sold the plane to Jaimi.' And then you have to fill out the form, and that's about it," said Dowdell.

"You go to the DMV, it's like, [show a] birth certificate, a passport, a power bill?" said Van Cleave.

"Right," Dowdell laughed. 

The cost of registering an airplane is just 5 dollars -- a price the FAA says was mandated by Congress back in 1964.

"The FAA doesn't see itself as an active policeman of the registry," said Carr. "So when information comes in, they make sure information is there, but they don't vet the information. So they're really operating on the honor system of people who are registering aircrafts, and also on pilots' licenses, to say, 'This is who I am. I am a U.S. citizen. You know, I live here.' But if somebody has bad intentions and wants to lie, or has ill intent for the use of that license or certification of a plane, they can lie and the FAA says that they're not going to vet -- they're not checking."

The FAA acknowledges it does not vet its records because it does not have the resources to determine the accuracy of information submitted for registration.

The Globe found two of the planes used in the 9/11 attack were still listed as active until 2005.

And the FAA didn't cancel the registration of a TWA cargo plane that crashed in Chicago in 1959 until 57 years later.

"If those [errors] aren't being caught, imagine what else is slipping through the cracks?" Carr said.

Like two United Airlines pilots who were convicted of trying to fly an airliner drunk. As of September 1, they still had valid pilot's licenses (although the FAA says they wouldn't be able to fly because they lack a current medical certificate).

Or five people the Globe identified with potential ties to terror who were listed as having active FAA licenses. As recently as August, airplane mechanic Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh -- currently serving 35 years for trying to aid ISIS -- showed up in the FAA registry as a valid license holder. The FAA says, despite what the database showed, his license was revoked in 2015. 

In a statement, the FAA tells "CBS This Morning," it has a team that investigates fraudulent aircraft registrations, and says it is "constantly working to strengthen the integrity of registry information. ... The agency is developing a plan to significantly upgrade and modernize the aircraft registration process."

To read the Boston Globe's two-part Spotlight report, go to Globe.com/SecretsInTheSky.

Watch video:  https://www.cbsnews.com

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.cbsnews.com

Incident occurred September 25, 2017 at Fresno Yosemite International Airport (KFAT), Fresno County, California







FRESNO, Calif. (FOX26 NEWS)-- An Allegiant Airlines MD-80 flight declared an emergency Monday after landing.

It happened at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

The pilot reported a loss of hydraulics and smoke in the cockpit.

The plane was returning from Las Vegas to Fresno and had to stop before making it back to the terminal.

Passengers evacuated out of the back end of the plane onto the tarmac.

Passengers reported they could see light smoke in the cabin.

No one was injured.

Allegiant Airlines statement to Fox 26 News:

Allegiant flight 514 with service from McCarran International Airport (LAS) to Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) landed normally in Fresno at 11:57 AM local time. While taxiing to the gate, a mechanical issue arose that caused a visible haze to appear toward the front of the aircraft. Out of an abundance of caution, the crew decided to stop short of the gate and passengers deplaned with any carry-on items via the rear stairs. Passengers proceeded to the terminal to pick up their baggage per normal procedures.

There were 150 passengers on board and six crew members.

Krysta Levy

Allegiant Spokesperson

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://kmph.com

Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio: As regional hubs see gains, passenger traffic drops at Dayton International Airport

As regional airports in Cincinnati and Columbus see increases in passenger traffic, the Dayton International Airport continues to deal with decreasing volume of travelers.

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport continued to set local passenger traffic records in August, and celebrated three years of consecutive year-over-year growth, the airport announced Monday. In August, local passenger traffic was up 30 percent with more than 362,500 originating passengers, marking the third highest local passenger August volume in CVG’s 70-year history.

“At CVG, we’re embracing what’s next and planning for a bright future, as we work to continue breaking records by growing both passenger and cargo operations, and lowering airfares,” said Candace McGraw, CVG’s chief executive officer.

For the Dayton airport, passenger traffic declined more than 14 percent to 74,538 last month compared to August 2016 when 86,922 passengers traveled through the airport. The decrease was not a surprise to airport officials, who said it is a reflection of Southwest Airlines’ departure from the airport. July was the first month that the airline no longer served Dayton, after Southwest switched its services over to CVG.

While Dayton aviation director Terry Slaybaugh originally called the departure a “blow” to the airport, it’s not the only city that Southwest has abandoned in recent years. Dayton is among 21 airports that Southwest has exited since the AirTran merger was announced in 2010, according to Volaire Aviation Consulting.

In that same period of time, the airline announced new service in only five airports in the U.S. mainland, including CVG. Since June 2016, Dayton airport officials have met with 10 airlines — such as Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue — to talk about increasing air service.

Slaybaugh told this news organization that the airport is also working with existing partners to increase the number of seats available with larger airports. He said 2018 could be a good year for the Dayton airport, and American Airlines’ capacity is expected to increase more than 16 percent in December compared to the same time last year.

American — which serves more travelers than any other airline at the Dayton airport — will operate 1,615 seats per day each way in December, versus 1,386 seats per day each during the same month last year. American also served more customers last month — 35,110 passengers — out of Dayton compared to August 2016.

Allegiant has steady grown at the airport, too, after adding services in April 2016.

While Columbus did not have data available for passenger traffic in August, the airport saw strong gains for the first half of the year. Nearly 3.7 million people traveled through the terminal from January through June, a 4.3 percent increase compared to 2016.

“Passenger and air freight carriers are capitalizing on the dynamic opportunities that continue to arise in the Columbus region, enabling our airports to offer additional travel options for passengers and strategic opportunities for businesses,” said Elaine Roberts, CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority.

As a smaller airport, Dayton faces stiff competition the Cincinnati and Columbus airports — which both ranked in J.D. Power Ratings for overall passenger satisfaction.

Cincinnati has excited travelers this year with flashy announcements about new airlines. WOW air will add services to the airport next year, offering discount tickets to Iceland and cities across Europe. Since May 2013, CVG has added five new carriers and introduced more than 50 new flight options to its network of 57 nonstop markets.

Ticket prices are also playing a part in more travelers going to the Cincinnati or Columbus airports. The average fare from the Dayton airport is the highest among regional airports.

Dayton’s airfare decreased to an average $397 in the first quarter of this year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That’s a fair drop from the $428 average during the same time period in 2016. It’s still not as low as Dayton’s average airfare was in 2014, when it went down to $389.

CVG’s average airfare dropped to $386 for the first quarter of 2017, compared to its average price of $430 during the same time in 2016. John Glenn Columbus International Airport’s airfare was cheaper than both Cincinnati’s and Dayton’s average airfare for the first quarter — coming in at about an average of $385. Indianapolis has the cheapest average airfare currently with $364.

BY THE NUMBERS

• 362,500 originating passengers traveled through CVG last month

• 14 percent decline is passenger traffic record in August 2017 at Dayton airport compared to August 2016

• 3.7 million people traveled through the Columbus terminal from January through June 2017

Original article ➤ http://www.daytondailynews.com

Atlas Air Worldwide Accuses Pilots’ Union of Work Slowdown: Airline files preliminary injunction against International Brotherhood of Teamsters

The Wall Street Journal
By Imani Moise
Sept. 25, 2017 3:22 p.m. ET


Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. accused its unionized pilots of intentionally slowing down work, causing “widespread and significant” flight delays, in the latest labor dispute between a union and an air-cargo carrier.

The company, whose airline subsidiaries deliver cargo for United Parcel Service Inc., Deutsche Post AG’s DHL, FedEx Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., filed a preliminary injunction to get the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to end what it calls an illegal work slowdown aimed at disrupting its business. The corporate parent of Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo Worldwide said in prepared remarks the union is engaging in a coordinated attempt to disrupt service to gain an edge during ongoing contract negotiations.

In a federal complaint filed Monday, Atlas claimed the union has encouraged behaviors like calling in sick at the last minute, refusing to work citing fatigue and refusing to work overtime. The amount of last-minute sick calls jumped to 24% between October 2016 and September 20 from 14% during the same period a year earlier.

The company said tactics like these contributed to an 83% surge in flight delays over six hours since December.

The dispute may stoke concerns about a potential labor impasse at the start of peak holiday shipping season. Last year, an airline operated by rival Atlas rival Air Transport Services Group Inc., successfully got a federal judge to halt a pilot strike after the work stoppage threatened to disrupt deliveries during the critical holiday season.

“We value our commitment to our customers and the passengers and cargo entrusted to us,” said Atlas Air Worldwide Chief Executive William J. Flynn in a statement. “We must protect the service quality we provide to our customers.”

Representatives from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters didn’t immediately have a comment. In the past, the union has attributed the flight disruptions to a pilot staffing shortage.

Airlines and railroads fall under the U.S. Railway Labor Act, which makes it more difficult for unionized workers to strike. Under that law, contracts don’t expire, and federal mediation is mandated if the two sides can’t come to an agreement. The mediators also can call for a recess in negotiations if the two sides reach a stalemate.

Shares in Atlas Air, up 27% so far this year, slipped 2.1% to $66.15 during afternoon trading.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com

Kitfox, N91904: Incident occurred September 24, 2017 in Waller. Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

Aircraft landed in a field after a loss of power.

http://registry.faa.gov/N91904

Date: 24-SEP-17
Time: 17:08:00Z
Regis#: N91904
Aircraft Make: KITFOX
Aircraft Model: 1
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: WALLER
State: TEXAS

Pietenpol Air Camper, N40WH: Accident occurred September 21, 2017 at Venango Regional Airport (KFKL), Franklin, Pennsylvania

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allegheny, Pennsylvania

http://registry.faa.gov/N40WH

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA552
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 21, 2017 in Franklin, PA
Aircraft: HENCKEN WILLIAM PIETENPOL AIR CAMPER, registration: N40WH

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft veered off the right side of the runway during takeoff.

Date: 22-SEP-17
Time: 14:10:00Z
Regis#: N40WH
Aircraft Make: EXPERIMENTAL
Aircraft Model: PIETENPOL AIR CAMPER
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: FRANKLIN
State: PENNSYLVANIA

Learjet 45, N116DJ, FireRock LLC: Incident occurred September 23, 2017 at Wiley Post Airport (KPWA), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Aircraft struck a bird on departure causing damage to the inboard left wing.

FireRock LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N116DJ

Date: 23-SEP-17
Time: 13:13:00Z
Regis#: N116DJ
Aircraft Make: LEAR JET
Aircraft Model: 40
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: CORPORATE
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: OKLAHOMA CITY
State: OKLAHOMA